Reverence at Church

We attend church to renew our covenants and to worship God, but our worship is genuine and meaningful only if we do it with an attitude of reverence. Such an attitude can also impact others who attend meetings with us. President Packer said, *Our sacrament and other meetings need renewed attention to assure that they are truly worship services in which members may be spiritually nourished and have their testimonies replenished and in which investigators may feel the inspiration essential to spiritual conversion.* 8

Feelings of reverence ought to be maintained at all times while at church, but particularly during the sacrament. Respectful, contemplative silence should be the norm. Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the Seventy commented: *We must prepare and then partake with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The spiritual preparation we make to partake of the sacrament is essential to receiving a remission of our sins.* 9

Priesthood holders who participate in this sacred ordinance should be especially mindful of the need to be reverent. I remember with a smile an incident from my youth when my father demonstrated his belief in this principle. I was a priest at the sacrament table, and my brother Marvin, a deacon, was sitting on the front row directly in front of me. As the bishop began the meeting by sharing the announcements, Marvin and another deacon continued to carry on an intense conversation. Suddenly, my father rose from his bench in the middle of the chapel, made his way to the aisle, and strode toward the front of the chapel. Poor Bishop Powell stopped speaking as my father walked to the front row and firmly took hold of my brother*s arm, stood him up, and escorted him back to the bench where our family was sitting. The bishop then continued with the announcements. I remember a very quiet congregation after that*particularly the row of deacons in front of me. From that time forth, my brother sat quietly in sacrament meeting and was especially reverent when performing his sacramental responsibilities.

As in our homes, sacred music can contribute significantly to a reverential atmosphere in our church meetings. The Lord has said, *My soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads* (D&C 25:12). Keith L. Smith, “Reverence,” Ensign, Jul 2003, 60-65